Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #247

   The main problem in studying the opening is to understand the positional essence of certain 'key position' as Bronstein calls them. Once a player has studied the key positions of certain openings he will find it easier to understand key positions in other openings, which differ slightly; then little by little he will come to understand the whole opening.

Alexander Kotov

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) East Bay Chess Club News
3) Our man in Bolivia
4) Fred Wilson and Chess.FM
5) Internet Chess Club Taps Joel Berez as New CEO
6) Queen of chess in SLC to promote the game for kids
7) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

International Master Vladimir Mezentsev won the 42nd Arthur Stamer Memorial held June 4-5 at the Mechanics' Institute with the impressive score of 6-0! Among his victims were IMs Ricardo DeGuzman and Walter Shipman and SM Craig Mar. DeGuzman was second at 5 in the 54-player Swiss. There was a big tie for third at 4.5 featuring Mar, IM Odondoo Ganbold, Drake Wang, Victor Ossipov and Batsaikhan Tserendorj. 10-year-old Gregory Young, rated 1600, had a phenomenal event scoring 4 from 6 while playing at least 350 points up every round. He defeated Tsendorj (2136) and drew with Mar (2428), losing only in the last round to IM Ganbold. Anthony Corrales directed for the Mechanics'.

Mechanics' Grandmaster-in-Residence Alex Yermolinsky flew the MI's colors in Canada this weekend where he won a round robin in Edmonton with a score of 4.5 from 5. Masters Greg Huber and Jeff Reeve were second and third respectively. Edmonton will be hosting the Canadian Open this July and Ivanchuk, Shirov and Bologan are all signed up to play!

2) East Bay Chess Club News

Hi everybody,

We realized that our previous email did not actually reach most people for some reason, so we are sending this email again. The 13th East Bay Chess Club Newsletter is now up! There are two links that shortly follow: one is a complete PDF file of the newsletter (news, notes, games), while the second is a PGN (portable game notation) file of the game section.

Full Newsletter (news, games) as .PDF file:

Newsletter (games only) as .PGN file:

Free PDF viewer:
Free PGN viewer:


David, Andy, and Vinay

3) Our man in Bolivia

Walter Dorne is unquestionably one of the best-traveled chess players on the planet. The Mechanics' member, who divides his year into 6 month driving a cab in San Francisco and 6 months traveling, is still blessed with wanderlust well into his 6th decade. Presently he is traveling in Bolivia and recently sent the following e-mail.

I finished 22nd in a field of 89 in the Santa Cruz Open in Bolivia - (5.5 out of nine rounds) which was good enough for the Senior 2nd Place Prize - some Fide Master came in 6th & got First. Unfortunately, I got the "Gringo Special": they changed the prize structure to one per category & I was a man without a category - no unrated!; it was only $20 & worth the anecdote! Granda (GM Julio Grand Zuniga -JD) Won it at 7.5, with a Swedish Player, (GM) Hellsten coming in second. Bolivia being a Third-World Country, the players are all underrated because there's not that much tournament activity - the B-Players played BETTER positionally than the Experts!, but the batter were better Tactically!!

Luck, Walt

4) Fred Wilson and Chess.FM

Hi folks:

My internet radio show, Chess & Books with Fred Wilson, returned Tuesday evening, March 15th, at 8:00 PM (EST). You can access it easily by simply going to the excellent website: . It will run every Tuesday night from 8:00 to 10:00 PM (EST), with a replay of the live show following almost immediately afterwards, for chess enthusiasts on the West Coast. There will also be a couple of replays the following afternoon. My eleventh guest,Tuesday evening June 7th, 2005, will be:

"Fred's next guest on Tuesday, June7th, 2005, will be the acclaimed chess journalist and lecturer NM NICK CONTICELLO. Nick, who has won two CJA awards, is a widely acknowledged expert on the life, games and career of CAPABLANCA, and has given several sold-out lectures on the life of the great Cuban world champion in the NYC area. Nick was also the manager of the world famous MANHATTAN CHESS CLUB for the last 13 years before its unfortunate demise and is ready, willing and able to discuss his views on why this happened. Additionally, Nick has an abiding interest in CHESS IN THE CINEMA and is willing to share his opinions about such chess-related films as "Dr. No", "Return From the Ashes", "Casablanca" and many others. Please send questions about Capablanca, the Manhattan Chess Club, chess in the movies and/or the great classics of chess literature to or Tony Rook".


In future weeks I hope to have IM Jennifer Shahade, IM Igor Khmelnitsky (author of the superb "Chess Exam"), GM Larry Christiansen, GM Alexander Baburin, GM Joel Benjamin, IM Jack Peters, GM Andy Soltis, GM Arthur Bisguier, famed chess book collector Andy Ansel and many, many more important members of our chess community on my show. Please feel free to email me interesting questions for these chess professionals.

I am very happy to be back and hope you will all listen in! Also, I welcome and encourage suggestions re possible future guests on my show.

Best in chess, Fred Wilson

5) Internet Chess Club Taps Joel Berez as New CEO

Computer game veteran joins leading Internet chess service.

Pittsburgh, PA June 7, 2005 - The Internet Chess Club ("ICC"), the world's premier online subscription chess service, has today announced the hiring of Joel M. Berez as its Chief Executive Officer. Berez has served as CEO or executive officer in seven businesses, ranging from total startups to two public companies. He built his first startup, Infocom, into one of the leading computer game publishers of the 1980s, and co-founded the Software Publishers Association (now the Software and Information Industry Association).

Along the way, Berez has also consulted for such firms as the National Geographic Society and Art Institutes International to help them develop corporate strategies to address the explosion of digital media. He holds a degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Sloan School of Management. Most recently, Berez headed GamesParlor, Inc., where he created Chess Live in partnership with the U.S. Chess Federation and chess federations in other countries, developing an online chess service noted for its family-friendly atmosphere and rich, intuitive software.

"The Internet Chess Club has led the market for the past ten years," says Lilya Lorrin, a founder of ICC and past CEO, "but we recognize that to maintain and grow our position over the next ten years will require fresh ideas and new leadership. Joel is the ideal candidate to face this challenge. I'm impressed by his accomplishments with Chess Live, starting from scratch. With the strong history and resources of ICC behind him now, he'll be able to do so much more."

As Joel Berez puts it, "The Internet Chess Club has long been the icon in the world of online chess, the service that every serious player knows and that every competitor wants to become. I have long been impressed with the accomplishments of the ICC founders as well as the dedicated staff of employees and community volunteers and now feel honored to be called upon to lead them." While Berez has been involved in many types of games in the past, he finds chess to be "not just an entertaining diversion, but a life-long intellectual pursuit that stimulates critical-thinking skills and can offer children as well as adults tremendous feelings of confidence and accomplishment."

Founded in 1995 as one of the first premium gaming sites on the Internet, today ICC is firmly established as the premier online chess service, with more members, more Grandmasters, more volunteers, and more loyalty from its members than any other classical game service on the Internet. More than 30,000 dues-paying members from all over the world regularly enjoy playing casual or tournament chess games against each other; watching others play, including hundreds of titled chess masters; attending online lectures, classes, and special events; or simply socializing with fellow chess enthusiasts in a club house that's always open.

6) Queen of chess in SLC to promote the game for kids

By Jay G. Talbot
The Salt Lake Tribune
June 3, 2005

Venturing into uncharted territory has been part of Susan Polgar's repertoire since she was 4. That's what brings her to Salt Lake City tonight. As a guest at a chess festival named in her honor, the grandmaster will arrive with an agenda to promote the game, especially for young children and girls.

"I want more exposure for the game. Chess needs somebody out there to speak out on behalf of chess," Polgar says.

The Hungarian native, now a U.S. citizen, will be at the Susan Polgar Chess Festival - which runs through Sunday in various locations in Salt Lake City.

"I believe practically any healthy born child has the potential to become a very strong chess player," Polgar says.

The festival, which will include lectures, simultaneous exhibition matches, tournaments and an opportunity to have lunch with Polgar, will give children the chance to observe a grandmaster up close.

Polgar is considered the queen of chess, a trailblazer who has changed the way chess is played throughout the world. She is recognized as the one who laid the foundation for female chess players everywhere.

"When I started about 30 years ago, when chess was definitely viewed as a men's game, as a boys' game, I proved that girls can be just as successful in the game of chess as men or boys if we put our effort into it," Polgar said.

Polgar has been the Women's World Chess Champion four times. She is a five-time undefeated Chess Olympiad champion with a 56-game unbeaten streak. And she is also the first woman to earn the grandmaster title formerly reserved for men. She is the highest-rated woman in the United States and second highest in the world.

At the age of 4, she became interested in chess after finding a chess set and becoming fascinated by the pieces. Six months later she won the Budapest Championship for girls under 11.

"There was a lot of skepticism about a young girl spending so much time with chess and competing against boys," Polgar says. "I had to go through a lot of discrimination and a lot of obstacles that were put in my way."

"Even within the family, there was a lot of opposition as to why a girl should play chess, period. And then later from the [Hungarian] chess federation, why a girl would want to play against boys."

At the age of 15, Polgar laid claim to the top spot in the women's world rankings, a position that has alternated between her and her youngest sister Judit for the past 21 years.

In January 1991, Polgar earned the title of grandmaster. After winning the women's world title in 1996, Polgar retired to start a family. In 2002, Polgar came out of retirement to establish the Susan Polgar Foundation. Its mission "is to promote chess with all its social, educational and competitive benefits for young people across the United States and especially for girls."

"With a lot of grandmasters, they couldn't care less," says Kevin Heath, owner of the Mountain West Chess Association and the person responsible for bringing Polgar to Utah. "They're into it for themselves. Susan is not. Of all the chess people, Susan completely has the kids in mind."

Stephanie Pitcher of Ogden represented the state at the inaugural Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls last summer.

"[The Polgar Chess Festival] will get kids more motivated and excited to play, especially girls," Pitcher says. "I think it will inspire a lot of girls to just be able to meet Susan and see what she's done and the things she's gone through to fight for chess."

From her trials, Polgar has developed a strong outlook on chess' role in society.

"To me chess is like life itself," Polgar says. "Chess is combining, I think, so many important qualities in life, such as concentration, focusing and planning ahead, and taking into account the people around you, and precision, and research, and psychology, and time management, and a number of other very important life skills that we deal with on an everyday basis. I believe chess teaches you to be more responsible."

But one of the problems that chess has, Polgar says, is chess organizations haven't done a great job in creating heroes.

"There should be more heroes in chess. Right away, you could list handfuls, many handfuls of baseball or basketball or tennis stars. In chess, can you name me one American player? Don't tell me Bobby Fischer because he retired 30 years ago. The majority couldn't. American heroes, they are not promoted."

"You know how Charles Barkley said, 'I am not a role model'? Susan wants to be that role model," says friend and business manager Paul Truong. "Her rêsumê in chess is equivalent to what you would consider a Tiger Woods, a Michael Jordan, that kind of a caliber player."

7) Upcoming Events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

William Addison Open - June 25
Charles Bagby Memorial - July 16
Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial - August 6
Bernardo Smith Amateur Under 1800 - August 20-21

Northern California

June 11-12 EBCC June Swiss GPP: 6 N. California
4SS, 30/90, SD60. East Bay Chess Club 1940 Virginia St, Berkeley, CA 94709. EF: $30, $35 after 4/30. $5 EBCC discount. $$300G plus $500 b/40. Open: 150-100-50, 1st u2000: 100. Reserve: 100-65-36, u1550: 100, u1300: 100. Reg: 10-10:45. Rds: 11-4 daily. Info:; 510 845-1041.

2005 Sacramento Chess Championship. July 2-4. GPP: 6
6SS, Full-K. Best Western Expo Inn, 1413 Howe Avenue, Sacramento, CA. ON-SITE REG: 7/2- 8:15am-9:30am; 7/3- 8:15am-9:10am. RDS: 3-day: 7/2- 10 & 3:30, 7/3- 11 & 5, 7/4- 10 & 3:30. 2-day: 7/3- 9:30, 11:45, 2, & 5, 7/4- 10 & 3:30. TC: 3-day: 30/90 G/1. 2-day: Rounds 1-3, G/60, Rounds 4-6, 30/90 G/1. 5-second delay on all time controls. SECTIONS: Master/Expert (above 1999), Reserve (1600-1999), Amateur (U1600). EF: 3-day $65 (Juniors $35) postmarked by 6/25. $75 (Juniors $40) after 6/25. 2-day $66 (Juniors $36) postmarked by 6/25. $76 (Juniors $41) after 6/25. IMs/GMs free. Entrants may play up one section for $10. $5 discount to CalChess members. Reentry after round 2 of the 3-day schedule: $40. PRIZES: 1st Place in each section $325 & trophy (1st prize guaranteed in the Master/Expert section). Prize fund of $2810 based on 75 full paid adult entries and 10 full paid junior entries overall (with 60 full paid adult entries and 10 full paid junior entries, the prize fund will be $1,900). HR: Best Western Expo Inn, (916) 922-9833 or 1-800-643-4422. Ask for the Sacramento Chess Club rates. ADV. ENT. & INFO: John McCumiskey (TD), 6700 50th St, Sacramento, CA 95823-1306; e-mail:; phone: (916) 524-9479, checks payable to Sacramento Chess Club. Full flyer and advance entries: under Weekend Events. OTHER INFO: NS, NC, W. 06/05 rating list only. Please bring clocks and equipment. Maximum of two ? point byes and are available in all rounds, maximum 2 byes per entry. ? point byes for rounds 5 & 6 must be requested prior to round 1.

Southern California

July 21-24, 22-24 or 23-24 10th Annual Pacific Coast Open GPP: 120 S. California

6SS, 40/2, SD/1 (2-day option, rds 1-3 G/60), Renaissance Agoura Hills Hotel, 30100 Agoura Road, Agoura Hills CA 91301 (US-101 to Reyes Adobe Road exit). Adjacent to the Santa Monica Mountains, 26 miles west of Burbank, 12 miles from Malibu, 28 miles from Ventura. Free parking. Prizes $40,000 based on 320 entries; minimum $30,000 (75% each prize) guaranteed. In 7 sections. Open: $4000-2000-1000-600-400, clear winner bonus $200, U2400 $1500, U2300/Unr $1500. If tie for first, top 2 on tiebreak play speed game (white 7 min, black 5 min and gets draw odds) for title &bonus prize. FIDE rated. Under 2200: $2500-1200-600-400-300. Under 2000: $2500-1200-600-400-300. Under 1800: $2500-1200-600-400-300. Under 1600: $2500-1200-600-400-300. Under 1400: $2500-1200-600-400-300. Under 1200: $1600-900-600-400-300. Unrated may play in any section, with maximum prize U2200 $1200, U2000 $1000, U1800 $800, U1600 $600, U1400 $400 U1200 $200; balance goes to next player(s) in line. Top 6 sections EF: 4-day $164, 3-day $163, 2-day $162 mailed by 7/13, all $161 online at by 7/18, all $170 phoned by 7/18 (406-896-2038, entries only, no questions), all $190 (no checks, credit cards OK) at tmt. SCCF membership ($12, jrs $7.50) required for rated Southern CA residents. Under 1200 Section EF: all $40 less. Re-entry (except Open) $80, count as half entries. Advance EF $10 less if paid with $49 USCF dues. 4-day schedule: Reg Thu to 6:30pm, rds Thu 7 pm, Fri 7 pm, Sat 12-7, Mon 10-4:30. 3-day schedule: Reg. Fri to 11am, rds Fri 12-7, Sat 12-7, Sun 10-4:30. 2-day schedule: Reg Sat to 9am, rds Sat 10-1-4-7, Sun 10-4:30. All schedules: Bye all, limit 2, rd 4-6 byes must commit before rd 3. HR: $79-79-79-79, 818-707-1220, reserve by 7/7 or rate may increase. Car rental: Avis, 800-331-1600, use AWD #D657633. Ent: Continental Chess, PO Box 249, Salisbury Mills NY 12577. Advance EF minus $5 service charge refunded if you withdraw and give notice at least an hour before rd 1. Questions:, 845-496-9658. Advance entries posted at 7/20.

National and International

Las Vegas International Chess Festival

The Las Vegas International Chess Festival comprises of the following events: June 9th, Polgar Sisters Tandem Simul! For the first time in over 10 years the Polgar sisters, Susan, Judit and Sofia will give a tandem simul. June 9th, National Open Blitz Championship 7 double rounds, seeded Swiss format tournament. June 10th, Breakfast with the Polgar Sisters June 10th-12th, National Open Tournament $55,000 guaranteed prize fund! First place, $5000. 6 round, seeded Swiss format. 8 different sections. US Championship Qualifier. June 13th, US Game/10 Championship $5,000 guaranteed prize fund. 7 round, seeded Swiss format. June 13th-18th, US Senior Championship Open to US residents/citizens born before 6/13/1955. 6 round, seeded Swiss format, one round a day and this is also a US Championship Qualifier. June 13th-18th, US "Under 50" Championship Open to US residents/citizens born on or after 6/13/1955. 6 round, seeded Swiss format, one round a day. You can find out more information about all the above events, along with online entry at

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